Define levels of protective status of polar bear essential habitat

 

Summary of the Action:
Action EH-A2 involves clearly defining ‘essential habitat’, identifying where essential habitat that currently exists both currently protected and unprotected, and identifying which pieces of essential habitat are not present either because not yet identified or identified but not yet protected.

Action Leads: 
Lauren Schmuck (Environment and Climate Change Canada, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Jesper Ødegård Jacobsen (Greenland Ministry of Fisheries, Hunting and Agriculture, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Participants:
External contractor (possibly)

Duration of action:
April 2021 – December 2021

Deliverables (output):
D1: A definition of polar bear essential habitat that is agreed upon by the Polar Bear Range States

  • May 2021

D2: Table listing the protected areas in each (or some of) the Polar Bear Range States that overlap with polar bear essential habitat, and which IUCN protected areas category they are most similar to

  • July 2021

D3: A document identifying which areas of polar bear essential habitat currently receive protection, and which do not receive protection

  • October 2021

D4: A map illustrating how the amount of protected polar bear essential habitat is likely to change as the climate in Arctic ecosystems changes

  • December 2021

Impact (outcome):
This Action will contribute the Objective, Goal and Vision of the CAP by defining levels of protective status of polar bear essential habitat, and determining which areas of essential habitat should be protected as the climate in Arctic ecosystems changes. This will help to address the threat that climate change poses to essential sea ice habitat.

The circumpolar objective is that essential habitat will be consistently described and tracked over time, and that there will be a better understanding/more clarity of essential habitat at the circumpolar level.

Dissemination:
A document inventorying existing information on essential polar bear habitat by categories, and other deliverables, will be posted on the Polar Bear Range States.